Thursday, July 24, 2014
Allen West subtitle's this book, "an American Ronin's Journey to Faith, Family, and Freedom,"--and I certainly related to why he calls himself an American Ronin. A Ronin was a samurai with no lord or master during the feudal period of Japan. A Samurai became masterless from the death or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master's favor or privilege. West lost his own earthly master (his father) early in his life. His father instilled in him the uncompromising character and principles that made him what he is today...and just like the Ronin, who continues to carry his swords and practice the way of the warrior, West has vowed never to succumb in the service of those principles on behalf of this nation. Herman West Senior told his son repeatedly, "Boy, don't ever see your color as a handicap, and never use it as a crutch."
This book was one of several I had picked as my 4th of July reading, and it did not disappoint. West summarizes his view of our Republic quite nicely when he asks:
Do we want an opportunity society, or a dependency society?
Do we prioritize preeminence of the individual, or dominance of the state?
Will we choose individual exceptionalism, or collective relativism?
Do we value wealth creation and expansion, or wealth redistribution?
Will we bet on economic freedom, or economic enslavement?
Do we stand for principle, or for party?
Do we want policy, or politics?
And he upholds the three pillars of modern conservative thought: (1) Effective and efficient conservative government. (2) Peace through vigilance, resolve, and strength. And (3) our traditional American values. West isn't afraid to speak truth to power, and he shares the experiences that shaped him and the beliefs he would die to defend.
A passionately written and enjoyable read.